April Fools' affirms our sense of humanity and community. In overturning hierarchy and authority, April Fools' makes elders look childish and children seem cunning beyond their years; we are all equally foolish.
We have the opportunity and means to apply microtasking to enrich our lives, our cultures and build better societies. As it was in the case of Benjamin Franklin, success is ours: people just need the right leaders, tools and incentives to motivate them to act.
Jefferson, much the deist, held to the idea of a "designer" to explain the scientific origin of the universe. Enlightenment thinkers called this designer the "great clockmaker," but he was not the same God that interceded in the cosmos.
Chess exists as the purest form of intellectual competition this side of a university debate. Head to any major urban park on a sunny afternoon and find the chess hustlers on the benches, decimating all challengers willing to slap down a five-dollar bill.
Ben Franklin famously said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." A strong US research program in climate science -- and leaders who take climate change as seriously as Benjamin Franklin did -- is consistent with that advice.
Benjamin Franklin broke the silence. At 81, he was the oldest of the delegates and was quite frail. He rose slowly, with a cane planted in the ground by one hand and a lengthy speech held in the other.
One interesting story about Franklin pertains to his preference for a national symbol. Despite his efforts, the nation chartered under the new constitution chose the bald eagle as its symbol on coins and dollars. Franklin was dismayed; he had lobbied hard for his choice -- the turkey.
Although Franklin was born January 17, 1706 in Boston, at age 17 he moved to Philadelphia. And though he lived temporarily in other places including overseas, he will always be considered as one of our greatest Pennsylvanians.
James Madison marveled over what unfolded at Philadelphia all those years ago. If not a miracle, then it was a consummation devoutly to be wished. To paraphrase Franklin: We will do well if we keep faith with it.
Death is recession proof, or as Benjamin Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." But in the tight economy, even funeral parlors are going to some great lengths to keep business alive.
So as we celebrate another day off and think of fireworks, hot dogs, and all the rest, let's give some thought to how and why this country was founded. And consider how far we have to go in meeting challenges that would daunt even the best of the Founders.
The two big cable "news" outlets were so intent on being fast that they were totally wrong. The reporters, producers, on-air "talent," nobody could be bothered to actually read through the decision before broadcasting their stupidity to the world.